Very Smooth. A medium-light amber color suggests the rum benefited nicely from 12 years aging in oak. Entirely pleasant, substantial but well mannered aromas include caramel, buttery brown sugar, vanilla, oak, slight amounts of dry leather and mild dry tobacco, mild spice and slightly musty, with a hint of grassy cane. A just off-dry initial taste quickly permeates the palate, rapidly delivering flavors to the tongue from front to back. Though it comes with an added flavor of dates, there is no prolong revealing complexity here; Arehucas 12 Años brings its entire suite of subtle aromas and flavors to the balance beam of your taste buds at once. The medium body is weighted perfectly to the taste, and with only slight pause, leads to a finish of additional smokiness, then some licorice, anise and even more leather, woody and dry.
Ron Arehucas’s distillery, or “Factory”, as it’s called, was founded in summer 1884, by the following spring their first sugar cane crop was harvested. Arehucas is justifiably proud of their heritage. On July 4th, 1892, “due to the fame and quality of its products”, the factory then called Fabrica San Pedro, was awarded by Queen Maria Cristina of Austria the title “Supplier of the Royal House.” That’s literally a noble honor, being named the official supplier of rum to Spain’s royalty. In 1909 Arehucas installed a more modern column still. The rum is aged in American oak casks, and claims to be the best selling rum in the Canary Islands for the past several decades.
Although I was admittedly skeptical of finding a fine tasting rum during my motorcycle journey through Western Europe and Northern Africa, my doubts were ultimately proved false. I discovered Ron Arehucas in Ronda, Spain, which must be one of the prettiest and most welcoming towns in the World. After feasting on multiple tapas courses for lunch, nothing could have been a better prize on that perfect day, in a perfect village atop a perfectly scenic and twisty motorcycle road, than to find such a fine rum. In a phrase, Ron Arehucas 12 Años tastes like Spain, a country whose people know how to live.
Reviewed: April 2010 in Ronda, Spain.